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#1 2012-09-27 10:38:39

ArchVortex
Retired
From: Ts’elxweyeqw, Canada
Registered: 2011-04-01
Posts: 1,465

Update on systemd and sysvinit with Arch

Tom Gundersen teg@jklm.no
8:48 PM (2 hours ago)

to Public, General, Arch
Hi guys,

As the move to systemd is under way, and we will soon have packages in
our repos that require your system to be booted with systemd, I
thought this would be a good time to summarize the state of
sysvinit/initscripts in Arch and their future.

Abstract: I think the current state is relatively good (but I'm
clearly very biased) and it should not be hard to maintain a
non-systemd boot on Arch even in the long-run. However, someone has to
do the work.

NOTE: Please let's keep any replies on-topic. This is NOT about
whether or not sysvinit or systemd is good or bad.

Testing
=====

This has been repeated a lot, but I think it makes sense to say it
again: We are quickly running out of people who do early testing of
initscripts. I.e., who follow arch-projects, review patches and test
initscripts-git. At some point we will probably also struggle with a
lack of developers/TU's testing initscripts in [testing], so if you
feel passionately about a non-systemd boot on Arch, please join
arch-projects and help with testing.

Initscripts
======

Initscripts are currently fully supported and actively developed. Work
has been going on for a long time to make initscripts and systemd
share the same configuration file format wherever that makes sense,
and this work is mostly completed (at least on the initscripts side).
Moreover, code is shared between systemd and initscripts wherever
possible (there might still be more opportunities for this, but the
work is mostly completed). Together, these two developments should
make it relatively easy to maintain initscripts for Arch in the
long-run, even with a small user/developer base.

I intend to maintain initscripts in the official repos as long as this
makes sense. However, for this to be viable, I think we would need at
least one capable and active initscripts developer who is interested
in helping out and who uses sysvinit/initscripts as their main init
system. In the long-run it would make sense for such a person to take
over maintainership of initscripts. Anyone interested, please join
arch-projects and post reviews, suggestions and patches :-)

Packages requiring systemd
=================

In the (near) future, we expect some packages to no longer support
non-systemd boot. In particular I'm thinking of polkit, networkmanager
and some gnome packages (I don't know which as I don't use gnome
myself). There will probably be more in the future. We might also drop
ConsoleKit from the repos at some point in the future.

No need to panic though. The number of packages that will actually be
need to be rebuilt to support non-systemd boot are actually very
limited (certainly less than ten). An alternative repository just
providing the relevant packages could very easily be maintained by one
committed person (possibly even the same person that will help out
with initscripts). I would be happy to help with getting this started
if anyone is interested.

A point to keep in mind is that the people who don't want to switch to
systemd, might not be using ConsoleKit, polkit, etc anyway, so maybe
this problem is not actually a real one.

rc scripts
=====

Currently we have a few hundred rc scripts in our repos (the scripts
under /etc/rc.d/) shipped with our various packages. This will
probably not change in the near future, but if for whatever reason
some packagers decide to drop some rc scripts from their packages (and
rely purely on the systemd unit files), then it would be very simple
to pull the relevant scripts from our repos and ship them in a
rc-scripts package in the above suggested repository.

Concluding remarks
============

As I have tried to outline above, the amount of work required for a
non-systemd boot is really small, and I'd be happy to help anyone who
decides to take it on. However, I have seen some suggestions of ways
of avoiding systemd that entails splitting the systemd package up,
rebuilding tens of packages just to avoid a systemd-libs dependency or
re-duplicate all the code shared between initscripts and systemd.
This, in my humble opinion, is not worth the effort and is not
something I'd be interested in getting involved with.

Please direct any technical discussions to arch-projects@archlinux.org.

Cheers,

Tom


You have the capacity to learn from mistakes. You'll learn a lot today.
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#2 2012-09-27 14:35:24

pablokal
Administrator
From: Nijmegen, Holland
Registered: 2010-10-12
Posts: 3,633
Website

Re: Update on systemd and sysvinit with Arch

rebuilding tens of packages just to avoid a systemd-libs dependency

That's the way Jubei is going and I'm afraid that Tom has  a point when he doubts this will be the way to go.
Let's hope there will step forward  a developer capable of supporting Tom the way he needs.
Thanks at AV for posting this here.


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#3 2012-09-27 16:35:49

handy
Member
Registered: 2011-11-03
Posts: 505

Re: Update on systemd and sysvinit with Arch

Great to read, thanks AV.

On reading it I gained some more respect for at least one of the Arch devs. It would seem that work load is very likely a primary reason for the Arch team (& others I guess) going to systemd. Which is understandable. It would have been nice to have read that in the Arch wiki news when systemd was first mooted.

Perhaps Jubei &/or Smil3y will have a word to Tom?

Last edited by handy (2012-09-27 16:38:15)

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#4 2012-09-27 20:32:42

ArchVortex
Retired
From: Ts’elxweyeqw, Canada
Registered: 2011-04-01
Posts: 1,465

Re: Update on systemd and sysvinit with Arch

handy wrote:

On reading it I gained some more respect for at least one of the Arch devs.

Agreed!! Tom seems to be the only one of the Devs that cares about the big picture and all the users. From the time he announced that Arch would move in the direction of systemd, he has tried to give support non-systemd users as well and apparently will offer his time and help to someone to setup and maintain a sysvinit user-driven and maintained project and use AUR if so desired to store the packages.

More from the thread:

On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 10:22 PM, Eric Bélanger <snowmaniscool@gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm a bit confused by this post.

I guess I should clarify my aim: As there are vocal proponents of
sysvinit who feel strongly about staying with that, I'd rather help
them get started in the right direction rather than cause lots of
unnecessary confusion and fragmentation (as I alluded to at the end of
my email I have seen some misguided attempts at doing this which I
think would be detrimental to everyone). Where this work happens (if
it happens), is not really anything I gave much thought. If it is the
consensus that we should quickly drop initscripts and sysvinit from
our repos and ask people to work on it elsewhere that's completely
fine with me.

> My understanding was that we were
> switching to systemd as the default init system because maintaining
> two init systems was too much work and problems.

My take is that it would be too much trouble to make all packages
(polkit, networkmanager, gnome, ...) support both running under
initscripts and systemd. Moreover, it is not really possible to
improve initscripts to the point where it is competitive to systemd.
So making systemd the default makes sense.

However, maintaining the initscripts package as it currently is is not
really a big problem from a technical point of view. Nor is
maintaining non-systemd versions of the relevant packages in a
separate repo.

> -remove initscripts from the repos
> -no more developement in git and on arch-project ML

I don't see the benefit of doing that quickly, but if that's what you
guys want, it is fine with me. I would be in favor of initscripts
dying a natural death.

> -we can start removing rc.d scripts from packages as we update them

That would be fine (and someone could gather them from svn and put
them in a package in some third-party repo (as I suggested)).

> By letting initscripts become a user project,
> we will be able to use our resource on other aspects of the distro.

I'm not suggesting that anyone but me should put any efforts at all
towards supporting non-systemd systems. My point was  exactly to get a
user-driven project started (if anyone steps up).

> Also maintaining initscripts in repo also means maintaining the rc.d
> scripts.

I don't think that follows. In the same way that systemd has been in
community/extra/core for a long time without service files around, the
same could be the case for initscripts.

> As most of us dev/TU are using (or will use) systemd, these
> will be harder to maintain and fix.

I agree, rc scripts should be dropped as soon as they become a burden
(which could be decided on a package-by-package basis).

> I don't know what you think about this but that's how I see things.

Sorry if I created any confusion. Hope it is clear now.

You have the capacity to learn from mistakes. You'll learn a lot today.
FP:E5F8 7DBA 8128 9ACB 75F7 7279 BE34 AB66 76D9 16DE
KEY ID:76D916DE
Currently running ArchBang / LFS / OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

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#5 2012-09-28 02:22:20

pablokal
Administrator
From: Nijmegen, Holland
Registered: 2010-10-12
Posts: 3,633
Website

Re: Update on systemd and sysvinit with Arch

I'm again baffled by how apologetic he  (as possible dissenter) has to utter himself to avoid stepping on some people's  long toes.


Getting your questions answered here at ArchBang Forums
Please! Always give hardware info, if there is a chance that 's relevant: #lspci -vnn
On Arch(bang) and Openbox: http://stillstup.blogspot.com/

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#6 2012-09-28 17:25:10

handy
Member
Registered: 2011-11-03
Posts: 505

Re: Update on systemd and sysvinit with Arch

I think that a good diplomat is one that sees further down the road. Tom has to work with these people, & a good working relationship is one to strive for.

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